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Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus exceeded 300,000 worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker on Saturday, and 20,000 in the United States, according to a Washington Post count, as states ramp up restrictions on their citizens’ movements. Also, the United States has surpassed 300 total deaths from the virus, according to The Post count.

Here are some significant developments:

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will meet Sunday morning in McConnell’s office to discuss a massive coronavirus economic rescue plan.
  • Vice President Pence and his wife, Karen, tested negative for the coronavirus, his spokeswoman announced Saturday night. During Saturday afternoon’s White House briefing, Pence said the pair would be tested after a member of his staff had tested positive.
  • The Justice Department has asked Congress to give the Supreme Court’s chief justice broad authority to suspend the statute of limitations for criminal cases during a national emergency.
  • Major flight restrictions were imposed at key airports along the East Coast, including in Washington, after an air traffic controller trainee tested positive for covid-19 Saturday.
  • Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, "I’m not totally sure what the president was referring to,” when asked about an hours-earlier tweet by President Trump that claimed the FDA was working on a combination of an anti-malaria drug and an antibiotic that could treat the infection.
  • The Food and Drug Administration approves new test that can detect the coronavirus in about 45 minutes.
  • President Trump’s top economic adviser said a rescue package could ultimately inject more than $2 trillion into the economy.
2:11 a.m.
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People entering Hawaii must self-quarantine for 14 days, governor says

Calling it an “extreme action,” Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) announced that, effective Thursday, all visitors and returning residents must self-quarantine for 14 days — a first among states during the novel coronavirus crisis.

“We want this action to send the message to visitors and residents alike that we appreciate their love for Hawaii,” Ige said, “but we are asking them to postpone their visit.”

The move would not apply to flight crews, emergency responders and other essential workers, Ige said. Violators would face a $5,000 fine and one year in jail.

State officials announced Saturday that 48 people have tested positive for the virus in the state, a sevenfold increase since last weekend. Three have been hospitalized, the state said, but no one has died.

“We have been talking about community spread for a long time,” said Bruce Anderson, director of Hawaii’s health department. “It’s beginning. It’s starting.”

2:02 a.m.
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Top congressional leaders will meet Sunday to discuss sweeping federal rescue plan

The top four congressional leaders — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) — will meet for the first time Sunday morning in McConnell’s office to discuss a massive coronavirus economic rescue plan moving rapidly on Capitol Hill.

The meeting was confirmed by two congressional officials familiar with plans for the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly.

The 11 a.m. meeting will mark the first direct participation of House leaders in negotiations that have played out for days in the Senate. White House officials and Republican leaders have been negotiating with Schumer and key Democrats to assemble a package of spending proposals that could inject a combined $2 trillion into the U.S. economy over the coming months. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will also attend the meeting.

While Senate leaders did not meet a McConnell-imposed afternoon deadline Saturday for reaching a deal, key senators of both parties said they had made significant progress toward a potential Monday vote on the package. The bill is expected to include direct cash payments to U.S. taxpayers, aid to businesses, emergency funding for hospitals and public health needs, among other provisions.

The location of the meeting is notable: Pelosi and Schumer have requested a so-called four corners negotiation for days, but McConnell kept the talks inside the confines of the Senate until now — with the broad structure of the bill largely in place.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misidentified House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a Republican.

1:31 a.m.
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Inmate in Brooklyn is first confirmed case in the federal prison system

An inmate at a Brooklyn jail tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the first confirmed case in the federal prison system.

In an email, the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Washington said the male inmate complained of chest pains on Thursday, three days after arriving at Metropolitan Detention Center Brooklyn.

The individual was taken to an outside hospital, where a coronavirus test was performed, the bureau said. On Friday, the inmate was returned to the jail and placed in isolation.

The positive test result was confirmed Saturday. The Associated Press was first to report on the matter.

“All CDC guidelines are being followed, including the conduct of a contact investigation and additional sanitation of affected areas,” the bureau said. “The other inmates he was housed with are being quarantined, as will any staff that need to be as a result of the contact investigation.”

The bureau said it “currently has no known cases of covid-19 among staff at MDC Brooklyn.”

1:25 a.m.
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Hanesbrands, Fruit of the Loom and other companies will start churning out masks for medical workers

U.S. textile companies, including Hanesbrands, Fruit of the Loom and American Giant, will start mass-producing protective masks for medical workers Monday under contract with the federal government.

The companies aim to begin delivering the masks in the middle of the coming week and to achieve weekly production of 10 million masks in about a month’s time, according to the National Council of Textile Organizations, or NCTO.

The three-ply cotton masks are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use when more sophisticated N95 masks aren’t required or are unavailable, according to Hanesbrands and the NCTO. The FDA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mask shortages in some parts of the country have forced doctors and nurses to reuse gear or make their own from office supplies, prompting outrage in the medical profession.

Hanesbrands said it designed the masks with the Department of Health and Human Services and shared the specifications with the other companies in the consortium. Parkdale Inc. — a large cotton-yarn spinner headquartered in North Carolina — is supplying yarn for the masks and helped organize the coalition.

Los Angeles Apparel, AST Sportswear, SanMar, America Knits, Beverly Knits and Riegel Linen are also helping with the manufacturing, which will take place in the United States and Central America, NCTO said.

Hanesbrands will make the masks in factories that normally produce T-shirts, underwear, socks and sweatshirts, in El Salvador, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.

1:06 a.m.
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Florida governor suggests possible use of isolation shelters to combat coronavirus

In a news conference Saturday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) discussed a potential next step amid the coronavirus outbreak.

DeSantis raised the possibility of putting those who test positive for coronavirus, or display symptoms, in isolation shelters. The shelters could be hotels or unused convention centers, DeSantis said, and prevent those people from spreading the virus among family or other acquaintances.

The state’s number of confirmed cases reached 720 on Saturday. Florida has also dealt with a rush of people on annual spring break trips, many of whom did not practice the recommended social distancing.

“If somebody comes in and tests positive, if you send them back home, they are likely to infect the people that they come in close contact with in their home. Then the virus continues to spread,” DeSantis said. “If they have a place to self-isolate, where they’re not going to be in close contact with anybody, then the virus dies with them.”

The governor added that this could take stress off hospitals, since 34 of the state’s medical facilities are at 50 percent capacity or higher. When a reporter mentioned that China had begun isolating those who tested positive for the virus, DeSantis cut off the question to explain what he’d learned from that approach.

“What China figured out, as much as you can believe them, is that people would be infected and they’d send them home, and they would infect people in their house. That’s one of the reasons Jared is identifying some of these places,” DeSantis said, referring to Jared Moskowitz, the director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management.

“Because I think the plan would be if you have someone who presents, but doesn’t require hospital isolation, you test them and have them be isolated in a convention center, hotel. Don’t go back home to your family,” DeSantis said.

12:47 a.m.
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Pence and wife tested negative for the coronavirus, spokeswoman says

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Vice President Pence said he and his wife would be tested for the coronavirus on March 21. (The Washington Post)

Vice President Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, have tested negative for the coronavirus, Pence’s spokeswoman Katie Miller tweeted Saturday night.

Earlier in the day, Pence addressed the news that a member of his staff had tested positive for the coronavirus and said because of that, he and his wife would be tested. He reiterated that neither he nor the president had “direct contact with that staff person” and said the White House physician told him there’s “no reason to believe that I was exposed and no need to be tested.”

But Pence said that because of his role leading the coronavirus task force, he and his wife would take the test.

Last Saturday, Trump said he had been tested and days later revealed that it came back negative.

Trump and Pence have repeatedly said that people who are asymptomatic should not seek out testing. Several members of Congress, including Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who were not exhibiting signs of illness have also been able to get tested.

12:35 a.m.
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Ecuador’s health minister resigns

Ecuador’s health minister resigned Saturday, saying that “facing a health crisis without resources is complicated,” according to Ecuadoran media reports.

Catalina Andramuño, who accepted the job in July, was replaced by Juan Carlos Zevallos, the dean of the medical school at the University of the Americas in Quito.

As of Thursday, Ecuador reported 260 people had been infected with the novel coronavirus. President Lenín Moreno declared a state of emergency, closing the borders and declaring a nighttime curfew.

“I find unacceptable the imposition of officials who have no knowledge of public health and the reality of this situation,” Andramuño said, according to El Universo.

12:20 a.m.
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British government asks ‘extremely vulnerable’ population to stay home for 12 weeks

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has issued a new set of guidelines in response to the coronavirus outbreak, most notably urging “extremely vulnerable” people to stay in their homes for the next 12 weeks, beginning Monday.

The government defined that population in six groups Saturday evening. It includes people who have received solid organ transplants; people with specific types of cancer; people with severe respiratory conditions; those with rare diseases or inborn errors of metabolism that increase the risk of infections; those using immunosuppression therapies that increase the risk of infections; and pregnant women with significant heart disease.

An official announcement said this is not an order from the government, but rather a “measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others.”

“Shielding is for your personal protection, it is your choice to decide whether to follow the measures we advise,” the announcement reads. “Individuals who have been given a prognosis of less than 6 months to live, and some others in special circumstances, could decide not to undertake shielding. This will be a deeply personal decision.”

The British government made five other recommendations to its extremely vulnerable population, which reports estimate to include 1.5 million people. Those recommendations were to avoid contact with anyone displaying symptoms of covid-19; to not attend “any gatherings”; to not go out shopping and have medical deliveries left at the door; stay in touch with others using technology; and use phones and other online services to contact medical professionals.

The United Kingdom had over 5,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as of Saturday morning, with the number of coronavirus-related deaths rising to 220.

11:25 p.m.
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Italy adds more force to lockdown, ordering closure of nonessential factories and services

ROME — Saying the country was facing its most difficult moment since World War II, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday further tightened the terms of the national lockdown, ordering the closure of all nonessential factories and services.

The decision means only the last sliver of Italy’s economy will continue to function. Supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and the post office can stay open. Public transit will also continue, to ensure that workers can get to their jobs and to avoid disrupting the supply chain.

Conte made the announcement hours after Italy reported 793 deaths in a 24-hour span, the highest daily toll seen by any country.

Though Italy instituted its lockdown 11 days ago, the first country in the West to take such a step, it has incrementally added restrictions, with officials saying that still too many people were leaving their homes. Previously, retail stores and restaurants were closed. But many factories and some offices had remained open.

The lockdown has not yet curbed the explosive spread of the novel coronavirus. Conte has expressed hope that the measures could begin paying dividends within days. The country has seen more than 50,000 coronavirus cases, second in the world to China, and has become the epicenter of the shifting global contagion.

“We don’t have an alternative,” Conte said in announcing the new restrictions. “Right now we need to resist.” He said that the sacrifice of staying home was “minimal” compared to the sacrifices of those on the front lines, including doctors and nurses.

Conte had faced pressure to add more force to Italy’s lockdown from politicians and doctors in northern Italy, the hardest-hit region, where hospitals are buckling under the strain and are unable to care for the surge of patients. Leaders in the Lombardy region had pointed to cellphone data indicating that 60 percent of all movement in the region had stopped, compared to a normal period before the virus. Officials in Lombardy said the reduction was insufficient.

On Saturday, preempting the prime minister, the Lombardy governor, a member of the far-right League, drafted his own decree ordering businesses — aside from those deemed essential — to stop all operations.

11:18 p.m.
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N.Y. State Sen. Brad Hoylman rebukes Trump for promoting treatments the FDA has yet to approve for the coronavirus

On Saturday morning, President Trump tweeted about a possible way to treat covid-19, citing two drugs that have not been approved by the federal government for that purpose.

“HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. The FDA has moved mountains — Thank You! Hopefully they will BOTH (H works better with A, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents).....” the President tweeted, finishing the thought in a follow-up post: “ … be put in use IMMEDIATELY. PEOPLE ARE DYING, MOVE FAST, and GOD BLESS EVERYONE!”

About half an hour later, New York State Sen. Brad Holyman (D) responded to Trump’s assertion, outlining a potential problem with suggesting treatment options that have yet to be vetted.

“Friends who use chloroquine to treat lupus have already started to get in touch with my staff to report that they can no longer get their prescriptions,” Holyman tweeted. “Trump is jeopardizing the lives of people using a proven treatment.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday evening.

Hydroxychloroquine was first used to “prevent and treat malaria” and now treats rheumatoid arthritis, childhood arthritis, certain symptoms of lupus and other autoimmune diseases, according to the American College of Rheumatology. Azithromycin is an antibiotic used to treat various types of infections.

As of Saturday evening, neither drug had been approved to treat coronavirus by the Food and Drug Administration or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trump tagged both organizations in his tweet.

10:56 p.m.
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Sanders criticizes Trump’s reluctance to use the Defense Production Act

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Saturday criticized President Trump’s reluctance to invoke the Defense Production Act, which would push U.S. manufacturers such as automakers into making medical equipment for hospitals coping with reported shortages amid the pandemic.

“Unbelievably, in the United States right now, doctors and nurses are unnecessarily putting their lives on the line treating people suffering from the coronavirus because they lack personal protective equipment like masks, gloves, and surgical gowns,” Sanders said in a written statement. “That is unacceptable. The president must immediately and forcefully use the Defense Production Act. … Trump’s inaction is literally sacrificing the lives of medical professionals and patients throughout this country.”

Sanders’s comments came two days after his opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, former vice president Joe Biden, urged Trump to use the Defense Production Act.

Trump said the measure is available for a “worst-case scenario.” He also has cited companies that have shifted manufacturing priorities on their own. Democrats in Congress and some Senate Republicans, including Marco Rubio (Fla.), have urged Trump to invoke the act.

“Trump must act now,” Sanders said. “Not only are the lives of the heroes and heroines providing medical care on the line; the lives of millions across the rest of the country are on the line, as well. If our medical front line goes down, the whole country is at risk.”

10:20 p.m.
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Justice Dept. asks Congress to give courts more latitude in postponing court proceedings

The Justice Department has asked Congress to give the Supreme Court’s chief justice broad authority to suspend the statute of limitations for criminal cases during a national emergency and to be able to delay trials accordingly as part of package of legislative proposals meant to address the impact of the coronavirus on the justice system.

The proposals, which were first reported by Politico, are not part of the coronavirus relief package being debated by the Senate, and it is unclear if they would have the support to become law. But they offer a glimpse into how Justice Department officials are contemplating a world in which coronavirus grinds the court system to a halt, putting the legal rights of defendants at odds with the practical reality that their cases cannot be heard.

The department asked Congress to amend the law so that, “upon a finding by the Chief Justice of the United States that emergency conditions will materially affect the functioning of the federal courts,” the statute of limitations on any federal offense would be suspended during the national emergency and for one year after.

It also asked that Congress give the chief judges of each federal district the ability to postpone time deadlines in cases when courts closed. As it stands now, individual judges can do that, but their decisions don’t cover entire districts. The Justice Department also asked to be able to hold video conferences even when defendants don’t consent.

The proposals are likely to raise civil liberties concerns, as they could suspend the right to a speedy trial for defendants who are in custody and allow federal law enforcement to investigate cases beyond the time normally allowed under law.

In the same package of proposals, the department also requested authority to treat those in the country illegally and affected with covid-19 far more aggressively. The department asked Congress to change the law so that such people would be ineligible to apply for asylum. It also asked to be able to deport such people to unsafe locations across the world.

A Justice Department spokesman said in a statement that the department offered the proposals in response to a congressional request and was trying in part to “harmonize what is already being done on an ad hoc basis by courts around the country.” “DOJ will continue to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to advance legislation that ensures the safety and security of the American people,” the spokesman said.

8:27 p.m.
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Israel’s first coronavirus victim: An 88-year-old Holocaust survivor

JERUSALEM — Israel’s first coronavirus-related fatality was identified on Saturday as Aryeh Even, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor who caught the virus in the senior home here where he lived.

Several residents of the senior home were identified as having contracted the virus more than a week ago.

Even, who suffered from preexisting conditions, was admitted to the hospital in serious condition. A statement from his family expressed sorrow at his passing and said he died alone, as Israel’s government increased its restrictions on movement over the past week. The family said Even immigrated alone to Israel from Hungary in 1948.

Israel, which confirmed about 880 cases of the covid-19 virus on Saturday, was one of a few countries that announced a first death from the virus this weekend.

Chilean Minister of Health Jaime Mañalich reported the country’s first death from the coronavirus on Saturday afternoon. The patient was an 83-year-old woman, he said. The country has more than 530 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare confirmed the country’s first coronavirus-related death on Saturday. The person, described as “very elderly” and from Helsinki, died Friday.

Mauritius confirmed its first death to Reuters on Saturday. Kavish Pultoo, adviser on information matters at the country’s health ministry, told the news agency there also are 13 positive coronavirus cases. “Their state of health is stable, and they are being treated in isolation,” he said.

An elderly Lithuanian woman who had chronic diseases also died on Saturday from covid-19, LRT English reported. Vice Minister of Health Algirdas Šešelgis told reporters the woman likely got infected while being treated for preexisting conditions at Ukmergė Hospital.

“On March 19, she was discharged but returned the next day. Unfortunately, we lost her,” he said, adding that the woman had not been tested for the coronavirus before her death.

On Thursday, a doctor at the same hospital was diagnosed with the coronavirus, LRT English reported.

8:26 p.m.
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Vietnam, Pakistan join list of countries curbing international travel

A growing number of countries have imposed restrictions on international travel.

Vietnam will ban nearly all foreigners from entering the country starting Sunday and stop all inbound flights.

The news came as the Southeast Asian nation’s coronavirus cases topped 94 as of late Saturday, Reuters reported, citing the Vietnamese Health Ministry.

Pakistan will suspend operation of all international passenger flights until April 4, while Turkey’s civil aviation authority announced flights would be suspended to 46 additional countries.

Turkey, which previously suspended flights to 22 countries, including all of Europe, also added restrictions within the country, saying Saturday it was “prohibiting” elderly citizens and people with chronic or serious illnesses from leaving their homes to walk in open areas or use public transportation, according to an interior ministry announcement.

The rate of coronavirus infections in Turkey, a country of 80 million people, has remained lower than that of hard-hit European states, but there has been alarm in Turkey as the rate has risen steadily over the last week, coinciding with an expansion of government testing across the country.